The full state pension in retirement means you will have to work that number of years

Planning for your retirement can never start too soon, especially after the UK workforce has endured an unprecedented period of uncertainty during the 18-month lockdown, which saw 11.7million workers laid off on furlough for £70billion.

Now that the economy and most industrial sectors are back on track financially in early 2022, a recent survey of 1,000 people conducted by Opinium on behalf of Hargreaves Lansdown found that over a third (34%) of people aged 45-54 have no plan for their remaining working years.

In comparison, about a quarter of 35-44 year olds and 25-34 year olds had no plan for the period between 50 and retirement.

About 42 percent of people in the 45-54 age group said they plan to continue their current job and work full-time. Another 10 percent said they would stay in the same position but switch part-time—only 5 percent said they plan to stop working entirely.

Helen Morrissey, Senior Pensions and Retirement Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown: “These results point to a worrying lack of planning by those closest to retirement about how they want to spend their remaining working years. The pandemic may well have played a role in this, as the economic upheaval may wreak havoc on people’s retirement plans as many older workers retire early after being laid off.

She continued, “There’s also a possibility that the investment market volatility that we saw early in the pandemic has impacted people’s pensions, causing them to put off their retirement plans for a while.”

“Transitioning into retirement through part-time work is often a better way to manage such a big change from a financial and emotional well-being perspective.”

Whilst this is encouraging for those with an occupational or private pension, for many who have opted out or have not met the minimum requirement of £10,000 for automatic registration, a state pension may be the best option for retirement income but the Eligibility is not automatic.

The state pension is a contributory payment, and in 2019 data from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) showed that of the 1.1 million people claiming the new state pension, just under 500,000 (44%) paid the full amount of 179 £.60 per year received week.

The amount of the state pension depends on how long you have contributed to National Insurance (NI).

In October 2020, the UK government raised the state pension age to 66 for both men and women and plans to raise it to 68 in the coming years.

But how many years of NI contributions do you have to make to qualify for the full, “new” state pension?

You must have at least 10 qualifying years on your NI record to receive a state pension, and it does not have to be 10 consecutive qualifying years.

This means that for 10 years at least one or more of the following applies to you:

If you have lived or worked abroad, you may still be able to receive a new state pension.

You can also qualify if you have paid reduced contributions for married women or widows – find out more about this on the GOV.UK website here.

You need 35 eligible years to receive the new full state pension if you did not have NI registration before April 6, 2016.

People who have contributed between 10 and 35 years are eligible for a portion of the new state pension.

Credit years if you work

If you work, you will pay NI and receive a qualifying year if:

You may not be paying NI contributions because you are earning less than £183 a week. You can still get a qualifying year if you earn between £120 and £183 a week with an employer.

You can check online how many years you need to work before you can claim the full new state pension

Credit years if you do not work

You can receive NI credits when you are unable to work—for example, because of illness or disability, or when you are a caregiver or unemployed.

You can earn NI points by:

  • Eligibility for child benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance

  • receive care allowance

There are a number of ways you can keep up to date with the latest stories from The Daily Record.

You can join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for tips on saving, news on benefits, consumer help and advice and the latest shopping offers.

Sign up for our Record Money newsletter to get the top stories straight to your inbox every Tuesday and Friday – you can sign up here.

You can also follow our Twitter account @record money_ for regular updates throughout the day.

When not working or receiving NI credits

You may be able to pay voluntary NI contributions if you don’t belong to one of these groups but want to increase your state pension amount. For more information, visit the GOV.UK website here.

What if there are gaps in your NI data set?

You can have gaps in your NI record and still receive the full new state pension.

You can get a state pension certificate that shows how much state pension you can receive. You can then apply for an NI declaration from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check if there are any gaps in your records.

If you have gaps in your NI record that would prevent you from receiving your full new state pension, you may be able to:

Check your social security card here.

Check your legal retirement age

Check your state pension age using’s free online tool here.

This will tell you:

Get the latest savings and benefits news straight to your inbox. Sign up for our weekly Money newsletter here.

Comments are closed.